Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Living in skyscrapers implies life-threatening risks

Living in high-rise buildings is very dangerous and uncomfortable. The number of skyscrapers in world’s biggest cities, including Russia’s capital Moscow, has been rising steadily during the recent years. A 93-storeyed Federation Tower and an ambitious project called Moscow’s New Ring (stipulates the construction of over 200 30-storeyed buildings) are just a few of so-called high-rise plans of Moscow officials.

Experts say that such a large number of high-rise buildings in Moscow is absolutely unnecessary. First off, skyscrapers do not fit in the Moscow architecture style. “Moscow has its own unique image formed with Stalin-era buildings and other similar constructions. Newly-built skyscrapers do not blend with the architecture of Moscow,” a spokesman for the Russian Academy of Architecture, Mikhail Philippov told RBK daily.

On the other hand, skyscrapers symbolize civilization, success and technological development. It is considered prestigious to live or work in a high-rise building. Skyscrapers are also associated with New York, no matter in which country they are located. No skyscraper in the world can be called an architectural monument. “Building skyscrapers in Moscow is a big mistake. Moscow may stop being the Third Rome because of them and become a typical city of the third world instead. Such buildings are being built in Dubai, for example, but there is no architectural ensemble in such cities, although there is a wish to imitate the USA,” Mikhail Philippov said.

Experts also say that skyscrapers are highly unprofitable from the economic point of view. Very expensive equipment is required to mount ventilation, canalization and water supply systems in high-rise buildings. In additions, skyscrapers need to be equipped with costly fire safety systems and helipads.

Living in skyscrapers has its own negative peculiarities. A human being loses highly important ties with the ground at the height of the 8th floor. It is psychologically hard for a person not to see the ground, the yard and the people. That is why Europe uses the standard of only seven floors for apartment buildings.

Those living in skyscrapers face the air conditioning problem. It is impossible to open windows at the height being 20-25t floors above the ground. To crown it all, people may spend up to 40 minutes waiting for elevators every morning and evening as they leave and return home from work.

Nevertheless, apartments in high-rise buildings make the most expensive category of habitation in Moscow nowadays. Many people say that they are ready to turn a blind eye on all of the above-mentioned discomforts for the sake of prestige. It is worthy of note that it is almost impossible to evacuate people from a skyscraper in case of emergency. The 9/11 tragedy in New York can only prove it.

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov